2015 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition

https://sites.google.com/site/geospatialcompetition/

Win a trip to the GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015 Conference!

The GeoTech Center and URISA are pleased to announce the 2015 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition! The intent of the competition is to showcase the geospatial technology skills of U.S. undergraduate students. Competing students will create a project that utilizes geospatial technology to address a real-world problem. The student will then present the project and the resulting deliverables as a video (approximately 10-15 minutes in length) which not only highlights their use of geospatial technology, but also demonstrates their communication and presentation skills. As Rodney Jackson, Dean of Business, Engineering & Technical Studies at Davidson County Community College states: “The ability to provide a competition for students to demonstrate their geospatial competency to industry partners, within the context of a national conference, has significant value within their educational experience.” More details to follow in the coming months.

Eligibility:

Students who are at least 18 years old and currently enrolled during Spring 2015 in a geospatial technology course (e.g., geographic information systems, remote sensing, or GPS/GNSS) or geospatial technology program at an accredited 2-year or 4-year U.S. institution, and reside within the U.S., are eligible to enter. Questions regarding eligibility can be directed to either Tom Mueller at mueller@calu.edu or Scott Jeffrey at sjeffrey@ccbcmd.edu. One entry per student and only individual student submissions allowed (no group projects).

Judging:

Entries will be due by Friday, June 12, 2015 and will be judged by a panel of experienced geospatial specialists. The combined scores from all judges will determine the top five (5) student finalists. These finalists will win an all-expense-paid trip to the GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015: Geography at the Nexus of Collaboration international conference in Spokane, WA on October 18-22, 2015, where they will be required to present their project. Judges will then determine the competitors’final place ranking. It is anticipated that three (3) of the student finalists will be from two-year colleges and two (2) from four-year institutions. The exact split will depend upon the number of students who enter the competition and the quality of the work submitted (judges also reserve the right to invite fewer than five student finalists).

Additional details, along with the official application, will be available by April 2015. Stay tuned!

Young Professionals Unite

Join fellow young professionals in the federal government and Washington DC area for a special program at the Esri Federal GIS Conference, February 9-10, 2015. This is an opportunity to learn about the latest technology your peers use to create a more resilient nation. You’ll hear success stories, tips, and trends. Geospatial innovators will be available to answer your pressing questions.

The program for the Young Professionals Group includes a focused lunch, workshop, career development panel/social and networking happy hour. Close out the conference at the Young Professionals Lounge during the Networking Reception at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Registration is complimentary for federal employees, contractors and tribes; non-profit organizations; and International Organizations. Other members of the Young Professionals Program will  get a registration discount on the conference and the Esri DevSummit DC, which follows a day later.

Register now and sign up for the Young Professionals Group.

What Your Personality Has to Do With Your Neighborhood

Richard Florida in www.citylab.com  13 Jan 2015

It’s a well-worn sociological truth that the neighborhoods in which we live can have a powerful effect on our lives. But how do our neighborhoods affect our overall happiness and well being? And what might they reflect about our underlying personalities?

A new study published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by an international group of psychologists, includingMarkus Jokela, Samuel Gosling and Peter J. Rentfrow, takes a detailed look at the intersection of personality and happiness in London. While a growing number of studies trace the happiness of cities and metro areas, and a few have considered the geographic clustering and concentration of personality traits, there has been much less research on the clustering of personality types within cities and the effects of neighborhood location on happiness.

The study explores the neighborhood clustering of the five basic personality traits defined by the classic five-factor model: openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability (or lack of neuroticism). The researchers then examined the clustering of these personality traits and their effects on individuals’ happiness based on an online survey of some 56,000 people in the London metro area. They define neighborhoods by postal districts, of which there are 219 in London.

The maps below, from the study, show the clustering of the five personality types across metro London. The sixth map, on the bottom right, shows the concentration of neighborhoods by happiness or life satisfaction. Red indicates high concentrations of a certain personality trait or of satisfaction, while blue indicates a cluster without that trait.

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(Jokela et al.)

The most clustered personality trait the researchers found was “openness to experience” (bottom left map), which is concentrated in the center of London. Openness to experience, according to a wide body of psychological studies, is associated with creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. This type is concentrated in higher density neighborhoods, with higher housing prices, more ethnic and religious diversity and higher crime rates. Meanwhile, the blue concentrations at the periphery indicate that there are fewer people open to experience in metro London’s suburbs.

Extroverted types also cluster near the center city (top left map), though not in the concentration levels seen for openness to experience.  Since extroverts want to connect to other people, it makes sense that they are attracted to denser neighborhoods with greater concentrations of meeting places like restaurants and bars. There is an absence of extroverts at the outskirts of the city. Two types—agreeableness (middle left) and conscientiousness (middle right)—are concentrated in outlying suburban areas.

The last map plots life satisfaction. Unsurprisingly, the map roughly tracks the distribution of wealth throughout metro London, with happier residents generally clustered in the most well-to-do neighborhoods and those with lower levels of life satisfaction concentrated in areas of greater poverty and those with higher concentrations of ethnic minorities. The study finds that neighborhood characteristics accounted for two-thirds of the variance in happiness across neighborhoods, indicating, as the researchers write, “a substantial link between sociodemographic factors and average life satisfaction of neighborhoods.”  Click to continue reading.